This week we’re looking at what you really value. Not what you say you value, but what you show you value.

What you say you value doesn’t matter. What you do to accomplish what you value matters.

Yesterday we talked about paying lip service to learning and today we’re going to talk about all those ideas for awesome projects that are rattling around inside your head.

Some of them are so awesome that they have the potential to revolutionize your business. A few are so awesome that they’re going to revolutionize my business.

Of course there are some unicorn tears somewhere here as well.

Here’s the problem though:  You may be putting off action on those great ideas until you’re “in a better position” to tackle that project. That could be next week, next month, or maybe next year.

What does a better position look like for you, and how do you plan to get there?

You’re not too busy

A common excuse many people use for not taking action is “I’m too busy.”

You may think you’re too busy — but you’re lying to yourself.

Yeah, you’ve got clients expecting deliverables and maybe even a project that’s behind already.

Yup, your family is important and you want to be a good wife/husband and father/mother.

The truth is, if you were truly, deeply passionate about your idea, you’d be willing to sacrifice other stuff to make it happen.

Let’s take a moment to get honest. Maybe, just maybe, all you really want is to talk about your idea. Because if you only talk about it — and never take the risk of acting on it — then it’s easy to say with confidence that your idea would have succeeded. Merely talking about an idea prevents any light from being shed on potential flaws in your idea, so it’s safe.

But maybe you should be

I just finished saying that you’re not really too busy to do the work — you’re choosing not to do the work. While you never want to let fear or procrastination keep you from acting on a great idea, there are times that choosing not to do the work can be a good thing. Because while you may have a great idea, that idea may not be the way you really provide the most value.

I’ve got this awesome idea to build out a CRM and project management system. I even started something on Github which I haven’t touched in a year or more.

I’m still using Redbooth and keeping things in Evernote and using Bidsketch and FreeAgent.

Every time I bring up the CRM/PM tool in my mastermind group, I get a chorus of NO!!!

No Curtis, that’s not where you provide the most value to people.

No Curtis, that’s not the best thing to focus on to really kick your business in to the next level.

No Curtis, you love your family too much and your Fridays off to spend time on that.

While I itch to write the code for this, I don’t because I’m unwilling to trade other time for time spent building it. I provide more value asking people hard questions about how they run their businesses and get energized when I get opportunity to provide that value.

Let’s fix this

Okay, so your idea is awesome and you’re willing to sacrifice things to see it through. Now it’s time to start making time in your schedule.

Wait — I’ve said before that all-nighters are your own stupid fault and of course you can’t manufacture more time in your day so, what do I mean when I say to make more time in your schedule? I mean you get deliberate and strategic about budgeting your time.

You begin by defining your ‘ideal week’. Start with a blank calendar and fill in the most important things for the week.

Write in the soccer games for the kids or your beer/wings night.

Block out the time you’ll spend marketing your business.

Add some time to develop your new awesome idea.

Schedule time for all your client work (not by name but what times in the week will you do client work).

Now add a bit of time for new client calls (I only block out 2 hours a week to talk to new clients).

You’ve got an ideal week. You’ve now blocked out time for that awesome idea and for client work and for learning and for spending time on the things that matter to you.

If your first try proves to be unrealistic, then revise the calendar after a week. The point is that you decide before the week starts where your precious time will be spent.

If other things keep crowding out time to develop your awesome idea — and those other things aren’t optional for you — then it may be time to be honest with yourself and admit it’s not time to pursue that idea.

Put it aside for later when you do have time. Keep a running notebook with thoughts on the idea, but don’t sink time into something that you can’t commit to finishing.

The most important thing you can do for your business each week is to focus on the areas that you provide the most value.

Everything else is a waste of your time.

photo credit: @N08 cc

6 responses to “You’re not too busy you lie”

  1. Mithun John Jacob Avatar


    Lying to ourselves and to others about our busy lives is one of the habits of all chronic procrastinators, me included 🙂

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      Ha well time to kick that habit and ship something. Where do you provide the most value to others?

      1. Mithun John Jacob Avatar

        I run an web apps agency and I’m trying to revamp my biz operations in the coming months.

        Remember, we talked before at

        1. Curtis McHale Avatar
          Curtis McHale

          Yup I remember we talked, but where do you provide the most value? Is it marketing, strategy, programming…?

          1. Mithun John Jacob Avatar

            The value is in programming and strategy. But I’m not satisfied with our current sales/marketing strategy and thinking deeply to take it to the next level.

          2. Curtis McHale Avatar
            Curtis McHale

            What is the 1 thing in your current strategy that you particularly dislike?